Friday, June 21, 2024

DUI News Blog

The Latest DUI News and Information From DUI Defense Attorneys Across the Country

New 2024 Ignition Interlock Device Enhancement Law

According to Senate Bill 0258, drivers using an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) will find that their devices now employ global positioning system (GPS) technology starting January 1,  2024.  This technology will geotag the motor vehicle’s location whenever an initial startup test, a random retest, or a skipped test occurs, or when circumvention of the device is detected.  The law also includes a provision prohibiting the GPS technology from being used for continuous tracking of the vehicle.

This amendment to T.C.A. Section 55-10-411 has been reported by some news sources such as Newsbreak.com to help prevent DUI offenses by reflecting, “an evolving approach to dealing with DUI incidents, prioritizing public safety while respecting individual privacy.”  This author holds a different opinion, however. Based on issues that have arisen in the courtroom, this author believes the addition of GPS to the ignition interlock devices was implemented so that if it a driver or other party violated T.C.A. §55-10-417(h)(1), prosecutors may establish venue (the place where judicial authority exists) in their particular county.

Generally, T.C.A. §55-10-417(h)(1) prohibits tampering with, or in any way attempting to circumvent the operation of a functioning ignition interlock device that has been installed in a motor vehicle. This is a separate crime that carries a Class A Misdemeanor punishment with a minimum mandatory jail time of 48 hours.

For instance, if a driver who had been drinking a lot convinced a sober person to blow into the vehicle’s IID so that the impaired driver could operate the vehicle, the prosecutor would be obligated to show that the violation (of both parties) occurred in the county of prosecution in order to obtain a conviction. Otherwise, a prosecutor would not be able to easily prove where the alleged crime occurred.


About the Author: Steven Oberman has been licensed in Tennessee since 1980, and successfully defended over 2,500 DUI defendants. Steve was the first lawyer in Tennessee to be Board Certified as a DUI Defense Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD). Among the many honors bestowed upon him, Steve has served as Dean of the NCDD and currently serves as chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers DUI Committee.

He is the author of DUI: The Crime & Consequences in Tennessee, updated annually since 1991 (Thomson-West), and co-author with Lawrence Taylor of the national treatise, Drunk Driving Defense, 9th edition (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen).  Steve has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee Law School since 1993 and has received a number of prestigious awards for his faculty contributions.  He is a popular international speaker, having spoken at legal seminars in 30 states, the District of Columbia and seven foreign countries.  After being named a Fulbright Scholar, Steve was honored to teach as a Visiting Professor at the University of Latvia Law School in the capital city of Riga, Latvia during the Spring Semester of 2019.  During the Spring Semester of 2023, Steve taught as a Visiting Professor at Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Law in Budapest, Hungary. If you would like to contact the author, please visit his website at www.tndui.com.

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Steve Oberman

Steve Oberman

Since graduating from the University of Tennessee Law School in 1980, Mr. Oberman has become established as a national authority on the intricacies of DUI defense law. Steve is a former Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, co-author of a national treatise ("Drunk Driving Defense" published by Aspen/Wolters-Kluwer), and author of "DUI: The Crime and Consequences in Tennessee" (published by Thomson-Reuters/West). He has taught thousands of lawyers, judges, and members of the general public about the intricacies of this crime. Steve was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach American Criminal Law and American Trial Advocacy at the University of Latvia School of Law in 2019; in 2023 taught for a semester as a visiting professor at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) Faculty of Law in Budapest, Hungary; and as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Law in 2024. Steve has also presented at a number of judicial conferences in the United States and Canada as well as for law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Czech Republic Police Academy. As a Tennessee DUI attorney, Mr. Oberman has successfully defended over two thousand clients charged with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In 2006, Mr. Oberman became the first DUI lawyer in Tennessee to be recognized by the National College for DUI Defense as a Board Certified Specialist in the area of DUI Defense law.

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